Below are both written and video testimonials from school principals, teachers and educators.
We have also added the person’s name and title if permission has been given.
“I just wanted to tell you how much I am loving teaching Protective Behaviours using your new program.
It has everything that I have always wanted in all of the years I have been teaching PB. (and as you know that is about 22 years!!?? How time flies!!??)
I am teaching PB every Tuesday afternoon to all the students in the Centre. The program allows for the varying ages and capabilities of the students. The activities are very easy to adapt to each level of student and the accompanying resource materials are super!
The resources are great and the fact they are all in one place (in my big beautiful box of PB materials) it makes my life soooo much easier.
Loving the information letters to parents for each week. What a time saver!
I have presented the program to all the teachers at our Centre and they are all excited about teaching this program as well as recognize the great importance of teaching it. (including the Kindy and Pre-primary teachers)
Thank you so much for your dedication in putting this wonderful program together. It truly is worth every cent!!”
Lara Eyles (Teacher)
Spencer Park Education Support Centre
“I recently had the pleasure of attending your professional learning workshop at our school and sat in on two of your demonstration lessons with students of different ages. I wish to thank you and share with you how much I gained from the experience.
Everything you shared made protective behaviours so much clearer and you have given me the ability to help the children I work with to be strong and safe and to have the language and tools to protect themselves.
The two lessons I watched were with the kindergarten/pre-primary students and the year four students. I was very impressed with the way you gave each of these groups the same foundations and information but were able to present it at their particular level of understanding. Each child went away from this lesson with so much knowledge and tools to better protect themselves. I was particularly impressed with how fun the lessons were and how every child was engaged and participated in the learning experience. This is a huge credit to your relaxed and friendly nature.
On a personal note as a parent of two teenagers I gained vital insight into the world and the problems my children are facing. I went home and shared a great deal of what I learned and put into place a family code, revised their safety network and gave them the contact details and information for the Kids Helpline.
Thank you again. I can’t express how beneficial your workshop has been both professionally and personally. I would certainly recommend your program to everyone.”
Sandra Edgar (Teacher)
“Holly-ann Martin from Safe4Kids has spent a week in Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School and the Santa Teresa community generally facilitating protective behaviours workshops for the past two years (2012 & 2013).
Holly-ann’s work has included daily lessons in each class, planning and resource sharing with teachers, a workshop for all members of staff, and workshops for parents/carers/families, and service providers in the community and other interested people.
Holly-ann is passionate about child protection and her work with all groups is engaging in a positive and supportive way. Her lessons with the children are well presented and age appropriate. Her approach is direct but sensitive ensuring all children are clear about issues of personal safety and can identify their own support network. Holly-ann develops in the children the ability to understand and articulate safe practices, public and private areas of the body, correct terminology for body parts and a belief in their own dignity and the rights to personal safety that that dignity implies.
In her work with the teachers and other members of staff, Holly-ann focuses on deepening their skills to identify the warning signs associated with student protection and a greater confidence in the support role they play with these children and others who may be at risk. In addition, all members of staff are left with a very clear understanding of their legal responsibilities in this area and of the processes that are to be followed to ensure the best possible outcomes for the children.
Similarly, in the workshops with parents and other adults, Holly-ann gives them a board overview of the issues associated with child protection, and of the vital part they can play in providing the safest possible environment for their children. Again this is done in a direct but affirming manner. No one is left with any doubt about the seriousness of this issue or of their responsibilities. However, all feel empowered, yet not threatened. This is due to Holly-ann’s engaging manner and her very clear passion to protect all children.
Santa Teresa is a remote Indigenous community and in her work Holly-ann is always respectful of the culture and cultural practices in the community. She has the ability to communicate in a manner that is clear and non-compromising about child protection but that also draws on the strengths and support structures within the community. It is an affirming process for all.
We believe that our children are stronger personally and that our community is richer as a whole due to the work of Holly-ann Martin from Safe4Kids. Children are the future of communities such as Santa Teresa and that future is brighter with more self-aware, self-confident children who have a greater respect for themselves and for others. We are happy to give our strongest recommendation to Holly-ann Martin and Safe4Kids.”
Br Daniel Hollamby (Principal)
Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School Santa Teresa.
“Today we had 38 adults and 19 children attending ‘Families as First Teachers’ – SAFE 4 KIDS workshop. The SAFE 4 KIDS programme has been extremely well received by the community here in Ali Curung. I have found that Aboriginal people vote with their feet and they certainly did for this event. While I was taking parents and children home after the event, one commented that it was good and all others on the bus agreed. This was a comment and response that wasn’t canvassed by me but freely given. We want to say huge thank you to Shontell, our Principal for giving us the opportunity to participate in this whole school event. Also to Holly-ann and Roger for delivering the programme and empowering a whole community.”
Helen Webber (Family Educator)
“The Safe4Kids programme presented at our school was outstanding and so well received by students, teachers and parents. Holly used personal anecdotes to convey to our students how easy it is to remain safe all of the time.
Teachers spoke highly of the lesson plan package that they received and indicated that they felt confident to apply Holly’s suggested strategies in their classrooms.
At the parents’ workshop, Holly was able to clearly explain to parents what she had covered in the lessons that she had given to all of our students from K to Year 6. This was reinforced when they all indicated that their children had gone home after school and told them about Holly’s talks.”
Brian Baily (Associate Principal)
Edgewater Primary School
“I’ve been teaching your lessons to my class this term and they’ve been very receptive. I’ve really enjoyed how easy it is to deal with the concepts.”
Marianne Bunt (Teacher)
“The Safe4Kids program is the best program I have come across for explicitly teaching children how to think and act in unsafe situations. With the help of music, catchy slogans and sign language, students learn how to recognise and describe their feelings and the importance of talking to trusted people about worries and concerns. I found this program very easy to integrate into my planning and the students loved learning the songs and participating in all the other hands-on activities it offers! If we are serious about combating issues such as sexual abuse, domestic violence and bullying all schools should use the Safe4Kids program!”
James Kingston (Teacher)
“On her recent visit to our school, I was absolutely amazed to see how much my students remembered from Holly-Ann’s previous visit two years ago. They knew all the words and actions to her songs, could instantly explain the difference between safe and unsafe, public and private, early warning signs and quickly recall their support networks. Holly-Ann brings incredible energy and enthusiasm to the delivery of the Safe4Kids program and broaches topics others might be uncomfortable or unwilling to address. Holly-Ann has extensive experience working in remote Indigenous communities and I would very strongly recommend her Safe4Kids program to any school, but especially other schools in remote Indigenous communities.”
Paul Wighton (Teacher)
Ltyentye Apurte Catholic Education Centre, Santa Teresa
“We were extremely fortunate to have Ms Martin visit Yakanarra Community School, a small indigenous school in the Kimberley.
Ms Martin spent 2 days at our school and in that time she was able to deliver professional learning to the staff of the school, to School Governing Body members and to parents in addition to the modelling of lessons from Kindergarten to Year 9 students.
All the teachers here were in awe of her ability to present to all levels of children and adults sensitive, but such important issues. Children of all ages were engaged and responded positively to Holly-ann and the material she presented. Adults were also involved and the Community were so impressed that they have requested her to return to the Community – a rare feat for a white person in this environment.
The topics and issues raised are of enormous significance to the children and their families and particularly those children who have been identified as FASD and therefore require special teaching. Protective behaviours and the positive message conveyed with the presentations are central to the development of these children who often do not understand the enormity of some of the social issues they are confronted with. Holly-ann was able to help them understand the issues and the possible significance of them in a meaningful and powerful way.
Her use of song and visual resources appealed to all ages of children and we are already seeing the outcomes of her teaching. She was able to use language that the children could understand and respond to and her programme identified the real issues at the heart of this problem. She was able to deliver material that related to personal and private issues in a sensitive and culturally appropriate manner.
At a time when child abuse has reached such significant proportions in the Australian Community, a programme such as this can help enormously in its prevention and in raising a generation of children who can be confident and safe.
I truly believe that Holly-ann’s message and delivery should reach every Australian child and I’m confident that the children of Yakanarra Community School will have better opportunities and remain safer because of her dedication and commitment to the safety and well-being of young people.
I endorse unequivocally her work and programmes and I will support her in her endeavours to reach more young people.”
Helen Unwin (Principal)
Yakanarra Community School
“We have been fortunate enough to have Holly-Ann and her Safe4Kids programme at Papunya twice. I am exploring options in order to get her back here next semester (money, basically!). I think the work that she does, the programme that she offers and the development of a consistent language with all age groups are invaluable. We have adopted much of this within the school. The fact that Holly-Ann works across the community is also of vital importance. Having done the NT DET Protective Behaviours professional development, and then having experienced Holly-Ann’s hands-on approach, there’s just no comparison. With the DET one, the school worked in isolation. With Holly-Ann, the school worked with the community, and many of the other agencies (police, health, shire etc.) were able to access the PD and we now speak a common language when dealing with children.
Unfortunately, part of working in remote communities is the constant turnover of staff across all these agencies. This creates an urgent need to have regular and consistent training in Protective Behaviours for all personnel who work with children. One-off PD’s, whilst effective for a short period of time, lose their impact once workers move on. I also think that it is vital that all of the community residents are exposed to Protective Behaviours on a regular basis.
I would fully support in any way I can, the use of the Safe4Kids programme. We owe it to our kids.”
Jenny Carew (Principal)
Papunya School, NT